JOHN BIGGS, Labour Mayor of Tower Hamlets, set the public to work cleaning up the Borough before Christmas and branded the exercise “a great success”.
Most councils pay staff to do cleaning, while some contract out the service. However, not many of them just ask residents to clean up their own areas.
In addition to the Council’s efforts, residents were put to work by landlords L&Q and Swan Housing Group. Also asking residents to take on unpaid work was the Council’s managing agent Tower Hamlets Homes – many of whose residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the waste collection service they are paying for.
The Council has revealed that 38 sacks of litter were collected as staff organised teams of councillors and members of the public to tackle problem areas. This is a drop in the ocean compared with the 2,000 tonnes of commercial and household waste which the Council’s standard rubbish contractors collected over the holiday break.
John Biggs, current Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said, “I’m very pleased that these Big Clean Up events have been taking place across the borough. Littering is a blight to our community, so it is fantastic to see everyone coming together to make a difference. I hope these events will inspire our residents to have a positive impact on their communities.”
His words will be echoed and returned by many residents, who hope that the Council will have a positive impact on our local communities by cleaning up the borough with the money the local community pays to the Council.
However, Cllr Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development, may have other ideas. “It has been really positive to see enthusiastic council staff, volunteers, officers and partners out on the streets for our latest Big Clean Up,” she said, before going on to warn: “We are running another week-long event in March to coincide with the national Keep Britain Tidy activity. We will be on the lookout for local heroes who want to get involved in our clean ups or highlight the work they do in their communities to keep their neighbourhoods clean and tidy.”
If you see Cllr Blake, curb your enthusiasm – before the Council decides that the cheapest option would be to get “enthusiastic volunteers” to do all the cleaning up